Population Clock
January 1, 2003 7:39 AM   Subscribe

Since this is the first day of the new year, I thought it would be interesting to check current US and global population numbers, and then compare those numbers on January 1st 2004, to see how much the world's population has grown or shrunk. Currently the clock shows 292,277,976 for the US, and 6,625,786,982 for the World. Metafilter readers from outside the US are welcome to post their countries current population level, as well.
posted by Beholder (31 comments total)
Dont forget the Pre-War and Post-War head count in Iraq?
posted by titboy at 8:50 AM on January 1, 2003

Population stats usually based on births not on how many alive at a given time, including traffic deaths, deaths from earthquakes, famines, floods etc., or, if you prefer to make a little joke aboutUS and Iraq: how many Kurds no longer alive since gassing by Saddam?
posted by Postroad at 8:57 AM on January 1, 2003

This is probably spoiling the fun but couldn't we just do the math and figure out what these would be?

I mean, just multiply the number of seconds per year times births and all that... I'm sure somebody knows what the hell I'm talking about here.
posted by ajpresto at 9:13 AM on January 1, 2003

Just a correction - the world pop clock shows 6,265,803,211, not 6.6 billion as quoted in the post. For a second I was astounded that that world population has already rocketed past the 6 billion I've been using for the last couple of years (although another 260 million isn't exactly a small number either).
posted by adrianhon at 9:30 AM on January 1, 2003

Last I checked, population in the Philippines was 78 million, about 11 million of whom are crammed into Metro Manila, with almost 8 million more working overseas.
posted by brownpau at 9:39 AM on January 1, 2003

For me, it now shows 6,625,805,534, which means Mother Earth has spit out over 18,000 more people, since I posted a little over 2 hours ago.
posted by Beholder at 9:49 AM on January 1, 2003

Beholder: Mother Earth has spit 18,000 more people than it has swallowed up. Don't forget it takes into account births and deaths.
posted by grum@work at 9:53 AM on January 1, 2003

Bexar County, otherwise known as San Antonio Texas, has over 1 million people. I moved from there this summer to the 4th largest state in the Union, Montana, which has fewer than 1 million people state-wide. Nothing earth-shattering, just fascinating to me, the way people and cultures "align," and the resulting human-spatial geography patterns, etc.
posted by davidmsc at 9:54 AM on January 1, 2003

My mistake. You're correct adrianhon. I posted 6 billion 625 million, when it's only 6 billion 265 million. I'll blame my screw up on last nights champagne.
posted by Beholder at 9:56 AM on January 1, 2003

...and just for comparative calculations -- 17,139 user names have populated MeFi (including duplicates and other glitches).
posted by DBAPaul at 10:48 AM on January 1, 2003

This should pretty much cover the request for people to post their country's populations. Ahhh... that CIA. Such handy info. ;-)

Since you asked, Canada: 31,902,268. 50% of 1%, baby!
posted by shepd at 11:02 AM on January 1, 2003

Hey... 17k users on MeFi? That makes us bigger than some countries.
posted by shepd at 11:05 AM on January 1, 2003

Um, Angola has a population of 10 million.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:09 AM on January 1, 2003

Booboo... I meant to click the next country in the list, Anguilla. 12,446 people.
posted by shepd at 11:22 AM on January 1, 2003

Ask and ye shall receive: the population of Finland is now 5,171,000, up 11,700 (or 0.2 percent) from last year.
posted by janne at 11:47 AM on January 1, 2003

This seems a really daft idea for a thread. Why doesn't someone just cut and paste an almanac chart and obviate the need for individual posts? In any event, UN population projections agree more or less with the US census. Adrian's 6 billion mark was passed on October 12, 1999, an increase of 1 billion in 12 years. It took all of human history until 1800 for the population to reach its first billion; the second took only until 1930. Remarkably, though, it may also take 12 years or more to reach 7 billion. Population growth actually peaked as much as 15 years ago; though increases continue, the rate has declined steadily. Most demographers expect rapid growth to continue in the less-developed world, offset by dramatically lower birth rates in industrialized societies. This is largely because of the truism that in agrarian societies, children are an asset, but in industrialized urban economies, children are a net liability. By the middle of the century world population may begin to decline, with the most dramatic results in the US and Europe, where the population will tilt toward senior citizens and employment structures will need to adapt or be propped up by immigration. Population decline is a fact in Russia, assisted by poor health care as much as anything, and is a major factor in the structural weakness of its economy, with serious implications for security if it is not controlled.
posted by dhartung at 11:55 AM on January 1, 2003

dhartung, the US's population is actualy still increasing rapidly, unlike europe, japan, AU, and other such places.

Another intresting fact is that the US is one of the few western country where a majory say that religion is important to them

Conclusion: the US is actualy a 3rd world country.
posted by delmoi at 2:39 PM on January 1, 2003

Conclusion: the US is actualy a 3rd world country

"Elementary", you might as well add.

If you've ever actually been to a third world country there are some pretty spiffy differences.

South Korea has 45,542,053 in a country the size of Portugal (portugal pop: about 10 million). I fail to see the logic, but somebody must I guess.

The most excruciating: Philippines at 793,45,812 and Indonesia at 216,108,345.

Mexico's not too shabby at 100,294,036.

More teeming hordes of humanity at webclocks.com
posted by hama7 at 3:39 PM on January 1, 2003

17,139 MeFi members. 6,625,786,982 people in the world. That means 0.00025867% of the world are MeFi members.

While we're on population density though..

The UK has a population of 59,778,002 on a land area of 241,590 sq km, for a density of 247 people per sq km. The USA has a population of 280,562,489 over 9,158,960 sq km, for a density of 30.6 people per sq km.

Therefore, the UK is 8 times more densely populated than the US :-) No wonder we're so eccentric!

(Source: 2002 CIA World Factbook)
posted by wackybrit at 4:45 PM on January 1, 2003

delmoi...it also might be that the US has liberalized immigration policies, especially compared to much of Europe, Russia and Japan. Our birthrate is 2.1, which would mean a population that would stay more or less the same over time without immigration.
posted by Kevs at 4:46 PM on January 1, 2003

I have been very distrustful of the compilers of demographic statistics ever since Paul Ehrlich took hysteria mongering to new heights with his book "The Population Bomb", and did so openly to change public policy.

What, in the final analysis, is the *reason* to know how many people there are in the world? Of what real value is that statistic?
posted by kablam at 4:56 PM on January 1, 2003

posted by blogRot at 5:37 PM on January 1, 2003

What, in the final analysis, is the *reason* to know how many people there are in the world? Of what real value is that statistic?

We obviously need to know how many towels we're going to need, in order to get off this planet before it is destroyed.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:41 PM on January 1, 2003

Does anyone know why the English (and possibly the Scottish, but not the N.Irish) are the only people in Europe not allowed to enter America's 'green card lottery'? Doesn't sound too fair to me :-)
posted by wackybrit at 8:13 PM on January 1, 2003

wackybrit: because they can easily become Canadian citizens?
posted by titboy at 9:16 PM on January 1, 2003

kablam: What, in the final analysis, is the *reason* to know how many people there are in the world? Of what real value is that statistic?

So you would rather not have information? Consider the post a harmless statistic, or consider the post an invitation to explore what many consider an important issue facing the human race. Either way is fine by me. I just can't believe anyone would choose not to know how many people are in the world.
posted by Beholder at 9:27 PM on January 1, 2003

delmoi, the US 'total fertility rate' is hovering just under replacement levels, the magic 2.1. Our population continues to increase for a variety of reasons, including age cohorts (the Baby Boom, and its echoes), and undiminished immigration. If immigrants populations -- particularly Hispanics -- begin to conform to the lower TFR of the assimilated US population, that national TFR could drop below replacement, and immigration alone will sustain growth.

We are in no crisis yet, certainly not as with Italy or Russia, but these trends bear continued attention.

kablam, the simple answer is that knowing how many people there are now or will be in the future helps us know how many widgets to assemble, roads to build, teachers to train, wells to dig, and wheatfields to plant. At a certain level almost any measurement will have a political component; it seems overreach to toss out every weather report because a deliberate alarmist said the sky is falling. Get your population data from professional demographers rather than the best-seller list and you may have better conformance with reality. Personally, I like having 50 years' notice of a possible crisis.
posted by dhartung at 10:29 PM on January 1, 2003

wackybrit: I think it is because it's deemed that there are already a lot of us, proportionally, in the US; the Green Card lottery excludes certain nationalities to preserve diversity in migration. The list of countries excluded changes from time to time; I think Poland but isn't any more. There's a list of excluded countries here; it includes Canada, Mexico, the Philippines, India, China, El Salvador and a few others.
posted by plep at 3:14 AM on January 2, 2003

Sorry, I think Poland -used- to be on the list of excluded countries but isn't any more.
posted by plep at 3:14 AM on January 2, 2003

I don't believe that UK citizens are treated favourably as far as migrating to Canada is concerned. When I last checked (some time ago), there was a scale with points awarded for things such as qualifications, age, occupation, English and French language skills, etc., but as I recall there's no favourable treatment of UK citizens. Some British people have family connections with Canada and obviously the English language part of it is easy, but I don't recall that there's anything explicitly favouring either British citizens or any other nationality.
posted by plep at 3:23 AM on January 2, 2003

I think the question I raised is a little deeper than assumed. In other words, the *value* of knowing the planetary population of humans is zero.

At the national level where you have other *constants* you can use to compare and contrast, it *does* mean something.

For example, what "policy" or "programme" should affect *both* an Australian Aborigine living in the outback *and* a Swedish PhD living in Oslo? A Navajo orthodontist in Phoenix and a 95-year-old great grandmother in Tibet?

To even attempt to come up with some commonality, any commonality, beyond the national scale, is either ridiculous, such as "How much wealth is fair for everybody?"; or just morbid curiosity, such as "If we had a smallpox epidemic in the world, how many people would die?" Again, more useless statistics.

What conclusions could be reached?: $100, and, "a lot."
posted by kablam at 7:27 AM on January 2, 2003

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